September 1, 1998 4:25 PM PDT

Symantec fields update complaints

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Software maker Symantec, whose products aim to prevent and solve PC problems, is practicing damage control of a different kind this week.

Irritated customers are complaining about hassles upgrading from Norton Anti-Virus Deluxe 4.0 and about a new pricing scheme for anti-virus updates.

The company's customer support bulletin boards have been filled this week with angry queries from customers who are having problems downloading the free upgrade from Norton Anti-Virus Deluxe 4.0 to Norton Anti-Virus 5.0.

Before proceeding with the download and installing the upgrade, Symantec first ascertains that the user is in fact a 4.0 customer. It does this by verifying the presence of certain files on the user's system.

However, the Norton Anti-Virus Live Update site contained a patch for one week this past June that did not include those necessary identifying files, and those customers are now unable to install the upgrade because the Symantec Web site does not identify them as 4.0 users.

"We just found out about this particular scenario," said Marian Merritt, a senior product manager for Norton Anti-Virus. "That download file will only install if a particular file is on your system. There was a one week window when our Live Update patch lacked that file."

Norton has already updated the upgrade file, Merritt said, and will be sending out an email to Norton customers today or tomorrow. It is difficult to estimate the number of affected customers, she said, because Symantec does not keep track of how many customers visited the Live Update site during that period.

Norton customers are also complaining about a change in the company's pricing of AntiVirus updates. Previously, those updates were available free of charge, but Symantec had to change that policy because of accounting problems.

"I can't upgrade from NAV 4.0 Deluxe to NAV 5.0, which Symantec promised I could when I bought the product originally," complained one Norton customer to a Symantec customer service representative on the company's bulletin board. "And even if I eventually by some miracle do get to upgrade, Symantec says that by doing this I am only entitled to one year of free updates. That's called being unethical."

"Some things happened in our business environment that made (our policy) have to change," Merritt said. "We're governed by an accounting standards bureau, and they decided that virus (updates) were probably more valuable than the virus software itself."

Currently, customers who purchased Norton products before April 6, 1998, can still access free anti-virus updates. Anyone who purchased Norton software after that date will get one year of free updates, with annual updates available as an option for $3.95 per year.

But there's a catch: Anyone who upgrades to Norton AntiVirus 5.0, even those who upgrade for free, are considered to be purchasing a new product, and thus are no longer eligible for unlimited free updates, Merritt said.

"We put a warning up there: You will now have new software," she added.

"We were facing a big financial decision: We tried to find a price point that would be small enough where customers would go for it, and large enough that the auditor would go for it," Merritt said. "Anything software purchased after April 6, the box had a special sticker on it, because we did know that it was new."


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Symantec Norton
I am disgusted at trying to contact Symantec about the way their Antivirus had seemingly hijacked my system and I had spent months and money trying to find out the cause of my computor slowness, then to find out it was their software. At first I only wanted to have them tell me what had gone wrong but trying to reach them was almost impossible. I have sent an email to somewhere related to them, wether they recieve it I may never know. It to bad that the personel touch has gone allowing companies to hide behind all kinds of cover and of course continue to take our money. I am business man and if I am not working, then I am losing money, does the large company of Symantec care?
Posted by (1 comment )
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Symantec's Poor Customer Service
I recently tried to renew my Norton Anti-virus subscription on-line at Symantec.Com. Due to a technical glitch I was bounced out of the process 7 times. Each time my credit card was charged although I did not complete the transaction. When I discovered the problem, Symantec's customer service rep kept me online for 1 hour telling me that he/she only saw one charge and not the 7 I was reporting. When he/she finally conceded that there were indeed 7 holds on my credit card after one hour, I was told I would have to wait 24 hours for the hold to be removed. I think this is grossly unfair that I am inconvenienced because of Symantec's error. To add insult to injury, when I tried to email my complaint to the manager who the customer rep directed me to I got an out of office reply with no other email contacts. I am so upset that I have promised myself never to purchase anything from Symantec again.
Posted by Karle97 (1 comment )
Link Flag
I received an email from Symantec on Jan 13, 2009 stating that they would automaticly renew it, went to their web site and cancelled the renewal, got confirmation 491179120. Then got another email that they would automaticly renew my subscription, went to their web site, cancelled it again, got confirmation 491179297. Sent a letter on Jan 13, 2009 to Symantec cancelling my renewal and instructing them not to charge anything to my credit card. Got another email from Symantec stating they renewed my subscription and charged my credit card $49.95. I called Symantec at 877 294 5265, told them about my efforts, got confirmation VAB22083565 that they would issue a credit. No credit has been issued. Charles
Posted by Charles12356 (1 comment )
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The first reaction to an NIS problem by Symantec tech support seems to be a total removal of all Symantec products and a reinstall of NIS. If your other disk are not around, I don't know what you'll do. When I protested, tech did a NIS unistall and reinstall of NIS 2009. I was online for over 3 hours!
There was no attempt to ascertain the original problem. Just reinstall and goodby. Hours wasted.
Posted by ddruby (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
I have been trying to reinstall my Norton program and have failed. I had to use AVG Free
as a replacement. This is all because in trying to download a Symentec program my
computer crashed. I have been a faithful Symantec customer since I've known of it. I
guess they've gotten so large they no longer need me.
Lawrence Laufer
Posted by Lawrence38 (1 comment )
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lol.I went thru same thing try Kaspersky.They make you scan your entire system.If you come up with bugs or viruses or whatever they help you to remove.Kapsersky is the way to go.Norton is too big to care about us little people.I initially was a Norton flag waver for 10 years.I even talked my company into getting Norton,but now I am talking to the Security people at my job to try Kaspersky.They are nice and helpful
Posted by sizzlechestnj (2 comments )
Link Flag
Well,here is my gripe for those who are interested.I let my kid play with my laptop.He is very interested in cars so he went to few sites and when he was done he picked up some viruses.I called Norton for removal and was informed it $100 bucks to remove.To pay someone to remove a virus that you are paying for to block seems nutty,so we had a conversation for 20 minutes I was explaining that I am paying you to block viruses and he kept telling me it was my fault.I am an adult and should not go to sites that have viruses.I am boiling.So I said forget it.I started searching around for a new Internet Security provider.I found it in Kapersky.I downloaded the app.It found actually 11 viruses and the person working for Kaspersky was so nice and removed the viruses for free.So as a result I am telling all that Kaspersky is the way to go.Norton couldn't catch a cold.
Posted by sizzlechestnj (2 comments )
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